The Acid Test of a Prime Minister…

Time To Read: Just under three minutes

…And any leader – you, your boss, your boss’s boss, is this:

If you were stripped of your title – the power to punish and reward your people – would you still get results out of them?

If yes you are a true, authentic leader.

If not, Action – what are you personally going to do about it? Start by asking your people and teams what they want you to do more, or less, of.

I first presented that acid test in March 2001, so forgive me if you have read it before – it just seems so relevant today, right now. As you and your teams face doing ever more work, with ever fewer resources, as business leaders the world over seek to reinspire and engage their people after the recession, and as in the UK we choose our new Prime Minister.

As the candidates seek your vote, ask yourself a variation of the acid test – if they were stripped of their title, their traits of office, would you trust them as individual human beings?

With best wishes

Poll – If your boss was stripped of his/her title – the power to punish and reward their people – would they still get results out of you?


  • Chris

    I watched the debate last night on the tele and it was fascinating. I do hope that the next two are equally enjoyable. I think that all three men exert charisma regardless of title.

  • Mark

    I enjoyed the debate too. I am sure that David Cameron thinks he did well although I thought Nick Clegg fared best. He put the others in their place although it was stage managed.

  • Chris

    Titles mean little. It's how you work with your colleagues and interact in the workplace that;'s important.

  • mary

    Titles mean little. Not in my eyes. then I would say that as I don't have one. I know people who live and die by their title. They are obsessed with them. Do they add value though? That's the key. Does their title actually make them work better? I suspect in most cases the answer is no!

  • paul charlton

    Being stripped of a title can work one of two ways. It can galvanise someone into showing that the title didn't matter. Or it can give someone serious insecurity because they think no one will respect them again. An inferiority complex even.

  • paul charlton

    The third debate between the party leaders should be a good one this week. The last chance for them to reach out to the public and try and secure votes. I just hope there is a good turnout among the voting public as talk is there could be one of the lowest ever.

  • chris

    Thought the debate last night was excellent. DC really got under the collar of GB and there was some real jousting going on there with Nick Clegg as some sort of mediator. I found it fascinating. And when Clegg asked Cameron for a straight yes or no to one particualr question, he couldn't answer it. They have no concept of being honest. All three were spinning a line although I suspect Brown is being the most honest, even though he has more to lose.

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